One thing we have learned in the last few years is that the Chinese have a new commitment to conquer the world markets.
They have learned a lot of lessons over the past two decades with Chery’s first attempt in South Africa which completely failed. Fortunately, GWM stood strong, but it’s more the last three years for Haval where things start to move in the right direction. Chery has returned to South Africa with products that cannot be put in the same class as the first – truly impressive.
It’s now time to welcome a new brand – Omoda. For now he comes from Chery’s stable, but soon he will stand completely on his own.
The first model in the stable is the Omoda C5 – a C-segment crossover model. Think in the direction of Nissan’s Qashqai and Volkswagen’s T-Roc. The design is futuristic and attention grabbing. The interior design is truly luxurious and initial quality impressed. The materials used really feel good. There is only one element on the interior on the center console that I don’t think will stay pretty for long – it’s a leather insert where you rest your smartphone on the wireless charging mat.
The Chinese are known for their high specification levels in their vehicles and the Omoda does not disappoint. Every imaginable luxury – leather upholstery, CarPlay and Android Auto, climate control, cruise control, electric seats and charging ports galore – is there.
Under the hood sits a smooth 1.5‑four-cylinder turbopetrol engine that offers 115 kW and 230 Nm. Omoda claims a fuel consumption figure of 6.9 ℓ/100 km – but we will only see when we spend time with the C5 again in the daily routine.
Rather, it is the safety suite that really impresses. There are a host of active and passive systems to keep you safe. On the passive side, there are systems such as anti-lock brakes with electronic brake force distribution, stability control, a bunch of airbags – the lot. On the active side, there are systems such as adaptive cruise control, collision warning, emergency brake assist, blind spot warning, lane control, lane departure warning and many more.
On the road, the C5 tours comfortably. Ride quality is spot on and only the worst potholes can upset its suspension. Road holding is sufficient for this type of vehicle and all that needs a little attention is the steering’s precision. Sometimes you have to aim twice for a turn if you put a little foot in the corner. If you drive harder, the CVT‑pallet change transmission can also appear a bit rough, but there is not a CVT on earth that does not do this – and the Omoda’s CVT is certainly one of the better examples out there.
I will summarize the Omoda C5 like this. It’s great value for money at the price, and Omoda offers an impressive five-year/70,000km service plan and an amazing 1 millionkm engine warranty to the first owner, plus a five-year/150,000km vehicle warranty.
The series looks like this:
|Omoda C5 1.5T Tech||R447 900|
|Omoda C5 1.5T Elegance||R507 900|
|Omoda C5 1.5T Elegance S||R509 900|
After we’ve spent time with the C5 again, we’ll compare it to its competitors.
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